Toby Turner, better known as Tobuscus, has been a mainstay of YouTube for over ten years. Between his three channels, he commands an audience of more than 15 million people. During his career as a vlogger, entertainer, and musician, he’s performed at VidCon, premiered a film at Sundance, successfully crowdfunded a game, and has his own action figure. And today, he joins the ranks of Sam Pepper, Mike Lobardo, Tom Milsom, Alex Day, and other vloggers on the platform accused of sexual impropriety.
In a lengthy Tumblr post on April 8, April Fletcher — who goes by Aprileff on her channel — accused Turner of drugging and raping her. “He thought it was a game to keep going when I would say No,” she wrote. They knew each other for five years before she cut off contact and claims things got worse in 2013 when Toby began using drugs. After a fight that same year she recalls, “He sets me down on the end of the bed and starts having sex with me. The entire time I’m crying and mumbling for him to stop but he keeps saying shhh. After he’s finished, he pulls my pants back on and I turn to my side and keep crying.” Later that year, she claims he gave her a shot of vodka laced with MDMA without telling her. Fletcher writes that she “was being cheated on since day one” and that Turner convinced her to remain in his life despite her attempts to leave the relationship.
She also tweeted what she says are screenshots of texts exchanged with Turner:
We’ve reached out to Turner and Fletcher for comment. Turner’s agent at UTA had no comment.
Turner, known for his “literal trailer” comedy videos and gaming vlogs, flatly denied Fletcher’s accusations in a short video posted on April 11. “I have never done anything without her consent,” Turner says tearfully into the camera, “these allegations are absolutely false.” Turner’s mother also defended him in a Facebook post in which she denies both the rape claims and drug use. She calls Fletcher a “drama queen”.
On April 12, another YouTuber, Kathleen Elliot (Katers17) posted her own story to Facebook in which she also describes being drugged by Turner. After reading Fletcher’s Tumblr post, Elliot says she realised, “The denial was broken. I wasn’t the first victim... I was one in a long list.”
Vlogger JaclynGlenn, who was Turner’s most recent girlfriend, said in a YouTube post that he was forceful during their relationship but, “Just because I felt pressured to do things that made me kind of uncomfortable does not mean that I was forced to do them.”
Philip DeFranco, who worked with Turner on two channels (Like Totally Awesome and CuteWinFail) spoke on YouTube about a Super Bowl party where “we had to make him leave because he did something indecent in front of one of my female employees”.
Fletcher says she chose to post to Tumblr after seeing a Tobuscus toy in a Toys R Us. “I wanted to run up to the cashier and tell her that they are selling a drug addict rapist to children. They are selling a sexual predator and don’t even know it.” There’s no evidence Toys R Us sells this particular figurine based on the company’s website and we’ve reached out to the chain for comment. It is, however, available through Amazon and Walmart.
Update: Walmart appears to have pulled the Tobuscus figurine from their online store.